Now halfway through April, with an F.A. Cup semi-final on the way this weekend there have been quite a few talking points with Arsenal recently. Most prominent has been Wenger’s situation, as well as Arsenal playing three at the back in the 2-1 victory against Middlesbrough, but there’s also something else to talk about.
Since coming back from the international break, Mesut Özil has returned back into the team and has made a few decent performances. He’s not quite replicating his form from earlier on this season, but his recent form has been on the increase. After quite an off spell during the middle of the season, these recent performances would be welcomed by all Arsenal fans, especially with his future uncertain at the moment.
The German has played in every game this month, being directly involved in four goals in those four games (two goals, two assists). It’s probably been helpful that most of these games have been against struggling sides like West Ham and Middlesbrough, who he’s been most productive against.
He’s also reached his best goal scoring tally since coming to Arsenal, netting 11 times this season. However, even though Özil’s goal and assist totals are fairly equal, it has come as a bit of a surprise that he hasn’t quite been the Mesut Özil that everybody knows for his assists. Especially after such a prolific record of 19 assists last season. But recently we’ve come to see the regular Özil, along with the new goal scoring Özil, as he has bagged a couple of goals and assists each this month.
Thankfully it looks like he’s come through that… well, unmemorable run of form that hit around the turn of the year, and we’re finally hearing chants of ‘We’ve got Özil’ coming from Arsenal fans again. Now with all the contract talks, rumours and fitness issues a thing of the past, well for now at least, Özil looks genuinely happy playing his football for Arsenal again, which with any luck will continue to be the case for a few more seasons.
A recent interview also saw the German say “I think every player wants to win that award (The Ballon D’or) but it’s not my goal. If it happens in my career, that will be nice, but for me, titles with clubs are more important.” Which is quite encouraging for Arsenal fans, assuming the titles he is talking about are the Premier League or Champions League with Arsenal.
Heading into one of the most important ends to a season in recent times for the club, Arsenal fans will hope that Özil can replicate the form shown in recent weeks. Especially with an F.A. Cup semi-final on Saturday against City, where all eyes will be on the German, who unlike most, did actually perform well in the league fixture against City earlier this month, and would be expected to produce at least an assist like he did in that game.
So looking forward, the signs for a good run into the end of the season from Mesut Özil are looking promising, but like we know, nothing is certain with Arsenal.